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New county ordinance prohibits animals on the loose

WILLMAR -- A new ordinance approved Tuesday prohibits animals from running on the loose in Kandiyohi County.

The ordinance was passed unanimously by the county commissioners following a public hearing. Chairman Dennis Peterson said he fielded numerous calls from residents thankful the issue was addressed.

Some people who move to the country think they can let their dogs run wild when they can cause many problems for farmers, said Peterson, who had about 70 sheep killed by neighborhood dogs in the 1980s. Law enforcement was unable to take action at that time because there was no ordinance in place. The ordinance approved this week says it's unlawful for the owner of any animal "to permit any dangerous dog, prohibited animal or domestic animal of any kind to run at large."

The county sheriff's department is authorized to kill any such animal "when reasonably necessary for the protection of persons or property."

The six-page ordinance also details nuisance animals, menacing dogs or prohibited animals and how those animals can be legally dealt with. The ordinance goes into effect Dec. 17.

In other action Tuesday:

- The commissioners gave County Administrator Larry Kleindl a very favorable annual review. Commissioner Richard Falk said Kleindl met or exceeded all expectations. "We are very proud to have Larry as our administrator," he said.

Kleindl said the county's excellent staff and department heads make any challenges easier to handle. "We have a good team effort here," he said.

- Six bids for a new telephone system for all county buildings were opened. The base bid ranged from $302,236 to $630,000. The estimate was about $450,000. Action will be taken next month.

- The commissioners approved a $100,000 grant application the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is seeking from the Department of Natural Resources Solar Legacy. PWELC wants to install an additional solar energy system that could exceed the center's goal of becoming a zero net energy facility by the end of 2010.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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